Coronavirus Infection Signs & Symptoms and Precautions
Created by Narayan Updated on Feb 06, 2020
A new mysterious virus has an outbreak in China's Wuhan province. The virus and the infection which shares similarity with the deadly SARS virus (from Coronavirus family), has started to bring back the memories of 2003 when hundreds perished across the world. Over the last few days, reports have again started coming of resurfacing of similar symptoms among Chinese in the city of Wuhan. Although the virus has not been identified yet, scientists examining the incident have found it to be similar to the dreaded SARS virus. The new virus has been identified as belonging to the Coronavirus family. This new virus would be the second virus from this family to infect humans after SARS.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (WHO: SARS-COV) is the name given to the infamous virus which infected thousands across China and the world and killed more than 700 of the infected in the year 2003. Majority of the epidemic was caused due to the fact that this infection was new and healthcare providers took some time to stop the infection from spreading.
However, there is still a difference of opinions among the Chinese and other scientists working on the matter. The symptoms of the new infection also show a pattern similar to the SARS virus. Experts also vary on whether the virus is capable of human to human transmission.
nCoV has been traced to possibly originating from bats or other wild animals. Thus, avoiding exotic meat will also be helpful.
What is SARS-Coronavirus?
SARS infection has symptoms similar to influenza and the infected patient may suffer from fever, malaise, myalgia, headache, diarrhoea, and shivering. However, the presence of these symptoms is not a sign of SARS infection. Family of coronavirus typically infect animals and few of them have the potential to infect humans; SARS and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome). The best way to avoid the infections of this virus family is maintaining safe contact with animals. Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch any wild or street animals before touching your face and mouth. (Source: WHO - “SARS Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome”).
Coronavirus Cases in India
While the death toll in China has crossed 100, more than 100 people have been under surveillance in India, including 3 in Delhi. Health Ministry of India has clarified that so far none of the suspected cases has been found to be positive. Meanwhile, WHO has been updating the guidelines for medical professionals and governments on the treatment and reporting of suspected cases.
Other than Delhi, people are under coronavirus scanner in the states of Maharashtra and Kerala. Closest to our borders, Nepal and Thailand have confirmed one case each on nCoV, and the governments have been asked to remain vigilant at the borders. ~ (Updated: 28 Jan 2020)
WHO Advisory on Novel Coronavirus (nCoV)
Although precaution and symptoms are still being discovered, few things are clear, and WHO has shared guidelines on the same. As per the latest updates, the virus can spread via droplets, contact and objects such as money, towel, dishes, toys and books among others.
Additionally, the WHO warns about consuming poultry and meat without proper cooking. Maintaining hygiene is also very important to stop the virus from spreading. Since the virus can spread from other humans by touch, avoid close contact with the people showing symptoms of flu or similar infections.
Also, as a matter of hygiene, the WHO recommends covering your mouth with an elbow instead of palms while sneezing or coughing. ~ (Updated: 28 Jan 2020)
How to Stay Safe from Coronavirus Infection?
How cautious you need to be to stay safe, and avoid falling victim to both the disease and rumour? While the expert's debate, identify and argue about the nomenclature, it is important for us to stay safe. While the treatment is still developing precautions to avoid contracting the disease is the best way to go. Best safety measure against this kind of infection is to avoid contracting from already infected patients. For example, using protective breathing masks can be helpful while travelling in public transport. Other precautions include:
Avoid seafood and non-veg from fish (source of the virus as identified for now)
Ensure a clean home and wash/clean anything you bring from outside before use
Washing your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after a visit on the outside
Avoid contact with people showing signs of flu, fever etc.
Make sure to use only clean towels and wipes for kids
Keep a hand sanitizer for quick use when out of options
What is The Treatment for Novel Coronavirus?
The nCoV is an entirely new virus and still under the study. Although there is no cure available for the nCoV, the individual symptoms can be treated. It is recommended that you consult a local physician for the treatment in case of flu symptoms.
Since the disease is still limited to a few geographies, it is unlikely that you may come in contact with anyone already infected. Though, if you are travelling to the following locations you may want to take precautions:
Wuhan province in China (epicentre)
Singapore (screening people visiting from Wuhan)
Hong Kong (screening people visiting from Wuhan)
Thailand (2 cases of infection)
The epicentre of the new outbreak has been identified as a seafood market in Wuhan and presently about 100 people are under healthcare scanner for the infection. Many countries including Thailand, Japan and even India have already started screening of passengers coming from Wuhan in China. Experts point to the fact that there is no reason to be alarmed at the current situation. However, everyone needs to be cautious to avoid a waterfall moment.
1. New SARS-like virus may be spreading outside China - Medical News Today
2. The Sars Epidemic And Its Aftermath In China: A Political Perspective - NCBI.NIH
3. Mystery Chinese virus: How worried should we be? - BBC News
| Jan 20, 2020
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